An easy and beautiful raspberry cookie bars recipe, perfect for the holidays to enjoy at home or to give as a gift!
I was thrilled when Driscoll’s reached out to me to see if I wanted to partner together this holiday season for their Made with Love campaign, that includes an awesome sweepstakes to win a KitchenAid mixer (go to their site to enter!) I’m a huge fan of all berries and having toured the Driscoll’s farms in the past, I can say wholeheartedly that I love their berries. It only made sense that I would want to support a campaign called Made with Love (I mean, I call my blog Eat the Love for a reason). With that in mind, I came up with these Raspberry Cookie Bars with White Chocolate Chunks that are easy to make and perfect at a gift to give your friends, family and loved ones. Because nothing says love like a homemade present! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Of course, I have a love/hate relationship with berries in general. Well actually to clarify, I have a love/hate relationship with baking with berries, as usually end up eating them straight out of their container (or, if I’m lucky, plucking them right off the bush or vine they are growing on and popping them in my mouth like some modern day Tom Sawyer). The hate part comes about because I often need to buy several containers of them to keep around the house, knowing that even though my recipe may only needs one container, I better have another in the fridge as I’m utterly helpless in resisting the call of a fresh berry.
That said, these raspberry cookie bars are worth resisting the temptation. The swirls of fresh cooked jammy raspberries bring these treats up a notch, and the splash of bright red color makes them perfect for the holidays and for gift giving. The fresh cooked raspberries is key to the recipe though, as it’s less sweet and less processed than a store bought jam so make sure not to skip that part! It’ll bring an extra bright pop of flavor to every bite of the fabulous baked goods. Once you make these bars, you’ll totally understand how you’ll be eating the love.
This post was sponsored by Driscoll’s. I was monetarily compensated for the post and for developing this recipe. However all opinions stated above (and below) are completely my own and are not endorsed by Driscoll’s. Visit Driscoll’s for more berry recipes and to enter their holiday sweepstakes.
Raspberry Cookie Bars with White Chocolate Chunks
By Irvin Lin
These raspberry cookie bars are packed full of berry and butterscotch flavor. Now you may be asking “How are these full of butterscotch flavor if there are no butterscotch chips in them?” The flavor of butterscotch is actually brown sugar and butter, and this recipe has plenty of both. I brown the butter to give it an extra butterscotch punch as well. But if you want to throw in a 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips, I’m not going to stand in your way. Almond meal can be found at specialty stores and in most upscale grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, just throw 1 1/4 cups of unsalted raw almonds in a food processor and pulse until they turn to powder and use it in place of the almond meal. Be sure to make the fresh raspberry jam. It only take five minutes (no chopping, just throw the berries in a pan with the other ingredients) and it adds so much to the final product. You’ll definitely notice the difference!
Raspberry jam swirl
1 1/2 cups (170 g or 6 oz) Driscoll’s raspberries
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice
Cookie bar batter
3/4 cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/3 cups (450 g or 1 lb) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups (280 g) all purpose flour
1 cup (115 g) almond meal
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups (250 g or 9 oz) white chocolate chips or chopped chunks
1. Place all the ingredients in for the raspberry jam in a small pot. Stir together and turn the heat to medium high. Cook until the raspberries disintegrate, stirring constantly, and the jam thickens a bit, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool as you make the batter (the jam will thicken more as it cools).
2. Preheat the oven to 325˚F and line a 10 x 15 x 1 inch rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving at least two inches hanging over the sides. Spray the aluminum foil with neutral flavored cooking oil. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and cook on medium high heat until melted and the butterfat starts to brown. Once you see browning, remove from heat and let the residual heat of the pan continue to brown the rest of the butterfat. Once the butter has become golden brown and smells nutty pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, making sure to scrape out all the brown bits into the bowl as well.
3. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes to cool the butter down (feel the side of the bowl, it should be warm to the touch but not hot anymore). Add the vanilla extract and beat for additional 15 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed until incorporated before adding the next one. Add the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt to the batter. Start the mixer on slow and move up to medium to incorporate. Add the white chocolate chips and beat to incorporate.
4. Scrape out the batter out into the baking sheet and spread evenly in the pan to the edges. It’s a bit sticky, I usually spray my hands with a little cooking oil and use them directly to spread the batter. The batter will seem a bit thin once you spread it out but don’t worry. Scoop the raspberry jam into a small ziplock bag and snip the corner off. Then squeeze the jam into stripes on top of the cookie bar dough. Use a toothpick and drag a line back and forth over the stripes to give it a festive look (don’t worry if you leave a line in the cookie bar dough, it’ll close up when you bake it). If the ziplock bag thing is too fussy for you, just spoon little dollops of the cooled raspberry jam over the batter and then, using a butter knife, swirl the jam into the batter (again not worrying about the lines left in the cookie bar dough).
5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the bars are darker brown and the center of the bars look dry and set. Let cool in the pan completely, then lift the bars out of the pan by grabbing the foil that is hanging over the sides of the pan and moving the bars to a cutting board. Cut and serve or wrap as presents.
Makes 40 small bars or 24 large bars.